Outdoor cooking doesn't have to be a seasonal sport—did you know that you can grill year-round with the right BBQ equipment and accessories? Yes, even in Canada! Explore Lowe's great selection of BBQs, grills, outdoor ovens, and smokers below. Whether electric, gas, or charcoal, we've got the right outdoor cooking system to make sure you and your guests enjoy a delicious meal in the fresh outdoor air. And we're even recommending a few of our favourite recipes!
Get that distinct and delicious smoky flavour on all your favourite meats, seafood, and veggies—right at home! Not sure how to smoke your food successfully? Check out these handy tips for doing it right.
Think of a smoker as a large BBQ which cooks food with less heat over longer periods of time.
A smoker uses the heat from smoke to cook food instead of heat directly generated from fuel.
Food is often left to slow-cook in a smoker for somewhere between 3 and 12 hours, ensuring tenderness and maximum flavour penetration.
A variety of flavours can be achieved by burning different materials to generate smoke (cedar, maple, charcoal, etc.)
Depending on the fuel source, a smoker's materials often burn slowly and are therefore more economical than a traditional gas BBQ's fuel.
Outdoor Ovens and Fryers
Outdoor ovens are typically wood-burning and can be used to cook anything a conventional oven can, although pizza is a favourite due to the high heat generated by these units and their flat stone cooking surface.
Outdoor fryers are large-capacity vessels that run on propane and contain a removable basket that can be lowered into preheated oil. Put a fun twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey using an outdoor fryer—or invite friends and neighbours to a fish-fry in your backyard!
Always follow these safety tips when using an Outdoor Fryer:
Make sure the fryer is on a secure, level, sturdy surface.
Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch them carefully.
Watch the weather; do not operate a fryer in rain or snow.
If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off immediately.
After frying, cover the leftover oil and let it cool overnight before disposing.
Always keep children and pets away from an outdoor fryer.
Top Ten Tips For getting The Most Out Of Your Smoker
Ready to get into the wild and delicious world of slow-cooking with a smoker? Whether you're a flavour-loving beginner or a seasoned expert, these handy tips on proper smoking techniques will ensure you get the smokiest and most mouth-watering results.
Start Raw.The flavour compounds in smoke penetrate raw foods best, because of the fat and water still present in the foods. As the surface of your food cooks and dries out, smoke will not infuse it as efficiently.
Go Low and Slow (Most of the Time).Want to know how to make sinewy meats so moist and tender, they'll fall apart at the touch? Authentic barbecue is cooked slowly over low, indirect heat—with wood smoke. But you can also add the sweet aroma of wood after some foods are grilled quickly over a hot temperature, like steaks, shrimp, and even vegetables.
Regulate Temperature with a Water Pan.Heat fluctuations can tighten and dry out foods. If you're cooking for longer than an hour with charcoal, use a pan of water to add humidity and regulate the heat so it doesn't vary as much. Water smokers already feature a built-in water pan, but if you don't have one, simply use a large disposable foil pan, and don't forget to refill it when the water has evaporated.
Don't Overdo It.The most common mistake beginners make is adding too much wood. If you load on log after log, your food will taste bitter. Keep this in mind: you should smoke food for no longer than half its cooking time. Also, smoke should flow like a gentle stream, not like it's bursting out of a train engine!
Watch Out For Dark Smoke.Clean streams of white or light grey smoke will infuse your food with the intoxicating aroma of smouldering wood. But if your fire isn't properly ventilated, or your food is too close to the fire and its juices are burning, dark grey or black smoke will emerge, which can taint your food or cause safety issues when you lift the lid.
Keep Air Circulating.Keep the vents on your grill or smoker open. Position the smoker's lid vent opposite the coals. The open vents will draw smoke from the charcoal and wood below them; ideally, the smoke should swirl over your food before emerging from the smoker. If the fire gets too hot, close the top vent almost all the way.
Don't Go Golfing.Yes, smoking is a relatively low-maintenance way of cooking—but it's important to stay mindful and safe. Never leave a lit fire unattended, and check the smoker's temperature approximately once every hour. You might need to adjust the vents or add more charcoal to regulate the temperature.
Try Not To Peek.Every time you open a working smoker, you lose heat and smoke—two of the most important factors in producing a delicious meal. Open the lid only when you really need to tend to the fire, the water pan, or the food. Try to tend to all three at once—and quickly. Otherwise, relax and keep a lid on it!
Let The Bark Get Dark.Barbecued meat should glisten with an almost-black mahogany crust. This "bark" is the tasty result of fat and spices sizzling with smoke on the surface of the meat, thereby developing a caramelized crust over the juicy, tender meat underneath. Before you take the meat off the grill or wrap it in foil, make sure the bark is dark enough.
Feature The Star Attraction.The main ingredient in any smoked recipe should play the lead role; other flavours should simply support the dominant tone. Don't upstage something that is delicious on its own by using a potent marinade, heavy-handed seasonings, or thick coats of sauce. Creating a flavour harmony that highlights the main ingredient is what separates the masters from the masses.
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